Appleton's Cyclopedia of American Biography, edited by James
Grant Wilson, John Fiske and Stanley L. Klos. Six volumes, New York: D. Appleton
and Company, 1887-1889 and 1999. Virtualology.com warns that these 19th Century
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CARVER, John, governor of Plymouth colony, born in England about 1590: died in Plymouth, Massachusetts, in April, 1661. He joined the Puritan colony at Leyden, and was evidently a person of some prominence, for about September, 1617, he was sent with Cushman to England as an agent to secure from the Virginia company permission to found a colony on their territory. They took with them the declaration of their allegiance to the church and state of England, "either active, if the thing commanded be not against God's word; or passive, if it be." To the same agents was eventually intrusted the selection of a ship and preparations for the voyage. Carver was probably elected governor for the ensuing year in the harbor of Provincetown, Massachusetts, where the "Mayflower" temporarily anchored, 11 November, 1620. This choice was the result of long deliberation on the part of his fellow-pilgrims. He was re-elected 25 March, 1621, the beginning of a new civil year, but died suddenly a month afterward. His sword is preserved in the collection of the Massachusetts historical society, and a chair, with other relics, is in private collections. He managed the affairs of the infant colony with great discretion during the first trying winter, when nearly half of the colony died, and his negotiations with the Indians laid the foundation for the generally peaceful relations that were maintained for many years.
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